Farmers and producers

Farming in the wettest year on record

[15 October/ Stuff] New Zealand farming has been exposed to the wettest year on record. MetService said Hamilton, Taupo, Te Puke and Rotorua experienced more rain this year to date than is typically received in an entire year. Farmers have said it has been a struggle to protect paddocks from stock trampling and ensuring the...

Alliance poised with strong balance sheet

[16 October/ New Zealand Herald] Alliance Group Chief Executive David Surveyor said operating profit would be substantially higher than last year. In 2016 Alliance posted a $10.1million pre-tax profit for the year ended September 30, based on a $1.36billion turnover. Mr Surveyor said 2016’s $41 million debt figure would be halved to an estimated $20...

Farmer fined $35k after dairy effluent ends up in north Taranaki stream

[16 October/ Stuff] Taranaki Farmer Warren Frederick Gill was fined $35,000 by an Environment Court judge after 150,000 litres of partly treated dairy effluent was illegally discharged into a highly prized stream. Mr Gill lives on and manages a 200-hectare Upper Lepper Rd farm in Inglewood, and has previously pleaded guilty to one charge of...

Cambridge farmers incorporate maize

[17 October/ New Zealand Herald] Ten years ago, Jenny Buckley and Dave van den Beuken were standard system-one all-grass farmers, sharemilking on Trish and Paul Jones’ farm near Cambridge. However, the devastation of the 2008 drought was the catalyst for their purchasing of 100t of maize silage. The farmers were concerned about losing 10-20 percent...

Sharemilkers affected by cattle disease eligible for compensation

[13 October/ Stuff] The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said sharemilkers and contract milkers who work on Van Leeuwen farms affected Mycoplasma bovis would be compensated for a loss of earnings. The MPI said the Van Leeuwens would be covered for loss of milk collection and replacement of herds if their livestock have to be...

Former city girl Annabelle Smart loving DairyNZ work on the Hauraki Plains

[11 October/ Stuff] DairyNZ Consulting Officer for the Hauraki Plains Coromandel, Annabelle Smart was raised in Remuera, Auckland before attending boarding school in Palmerston North. Ms Smart said during her time at Palmerston North she would spend significant time with her friends, most of whom lived on farm properties. Ms Smart studied Agriculture Science at...

Taste of farm skill for non-farmers

[11 October/ New Zealand Herald] Stratford accountant Tracy Kivell was one of twelve women who took part in a recent special Skills Day at Toko. The special skills taught included how to fence, manoeuvre a quad bike and trailer through a narrow opening, assemble and operate a chainsaw, measure and allocate grass to cows and...

Mental health support needed for farmers

[11 October/Radio New Zealand] Dairy farmer Richard Cookson is advocating for improved mental health support for the rural sector. Research shows that New Zealand’s rural sector suicide rate is up to 50 percent higher than in urban areas. Mr Cookson struggled with mental health in the past and believed there isn’t enough support for illnesses...

Farm ‘looks like a duck pond’

[10 October/Radio New Zealand] Kevin Clark is a dairy farmer near Whakatane who lost large chunks of land, fences, and farm races when the river burst its banks earlier this year during Cyclones Debbie and Cook. Mr Clark said his farm looked like a duck pond, and that this had been his toughest year of...

Nine vying for three spots in Farmlands director elections

[9 October/ Otago Daily Times] The 2017 Farmlands director election voting is open, with nine candidates contesting three vacancies. The South Island vacancy will be contested by former Alliance Group Director Murray Donald, former Otago Regional Councillor Gary Kelliher, Accountant Mel Montgomery, former Federated Farmers National Board Member David Rose and current Alliance Group Director...

Skills match well to livestock work

[9 October/ Otago Daily Times] German-born Dr Stefan Meyer started working at Dunedin agribusiness consulting company AbacusBio after completing a PhD in zoology at the University of Otago last year. Dr Meyer said receiving a Callaghan Innovation for his work on a dairy cow survival project was very helpful. The R&D career grant was intended...

Little sun makes it hard work on cycling dairy cows before mating

[6 October/ Stuff] The lack of sun is suppressing the mating instincts of dairy cows, and Manawatū/Rangitīkei farmers expect fertility levels will be lower than normal. Farmers have found fewer than usual cows are cycling because of cool and cloudy weather. Cow fertility levels were discussed between 45 farmers and some rural professionals during a...

New Zealand farming a ‘broken model’ – water scientist

[6 October/ News Hub] Freshwater Ecologist Dr Mike Joy said New Zealand farmers are working on a broken model which is adversely affecting water quality. Dr Joy supposed lack of leadership and a fossil-fuel derived fertiliser and palm kernel dependent system has contributed to this. Dr Joy added the increase in farming on lands that...

Manawatū farmers sick of unrelenting rain

[5 October/ Stuff] Manawatū/Rangītikei Federated Farmers Dairy Chairman Murray Holdaway says farming has been tough in the wet conditions. Farmers say the water table is so full that only a shower would top it up and produce ponding and streams in paddocks. Shearers and contractors are behind where they would usually be, crops and vegetables...

Meat processor Alliance Group to pay dividend and share offer to farmers

[5 October/ Stuff] Alliance Group Chief Executive David Surveyor told 60 farmers in Fielding that Alliance will offer a share per stock unit killed at its meat plants to current shareholders. The farmers were told a dividend would also be paid, with details announced with the annual profit result next month. Mr Surveyor said the...

DairyNZ voting packs on way

[5 October/ New Zealand Herald] Voting packs are on the way for DairyNZ election candidates, allowing Farmers a three-week voting period. Six farmers are in competition for two board of director positions. Candidates include Jim van der Poel from Ngahinapouri, Ian Brown, of Tokoroa, Grant Coombes, of Taupiri, Colin Glass, of Timaru, Cole Groves, of...

Apprenticeships new pathway to dairy industry

[5 October/ New Zealand Herald] Federated Farmers and Primary ITO have joined forces to offer three-year apprenticeships in the dairy industry. Federated Farmers will find dairy farm employers and ensure they are equipped to provide a quality work environment supporting on-job training of apprentices. Primary ITO will recruit apprentices, arrange pre-work skills lessons and formal...

Waihi farmer Elaine Evelyn Coxhead left worm-infested sheep to die

[4 October/ Stuff] A Waihi farmer who failed to treat 30 ill sheep on her farm has been banned from owning more than 100 sheep. Ms Coxhead was convicted of an animal welfare offence after Ministry for Primary Industries found dead sheep on her property heavily worm-infested sheep. Ms Coxhead was fined $2500 for the...

Cattle disease strikes another Van Leeuwen farm

[2 October/ Stuff] Another Van Leeuwen farm has been infected with cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis. The farm may need to destroy a large number of their cattle. There are 780 cattle on the property, and the ten cattle found infected were bought by MPI and slaughtered. The disease has now spread to seven properties, six...

New person in Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty dairy chair

[2 October/ Stuff] Bay of Plenty Federated Farmer’s appointed a new Dairy Chairman, Peter Overdevest. Mr Overdevest has farmed his entire life and currently farms a total of 300ha and milks 800 cows over two properties. Mr Overdevest said farmers are now getting back to business but can use what has happened in the past...

Rural cameras help snap poachers in rural Whanganui

[3 October/ NZ Herald] Wanganui Rural Community Board Chairman, David Matthews said rural road CCTV cameras being installed around the region were helping deter theft of livestock. Senior Sergeant, Shane Wainhouse said the cameras gave the ability to monitor whose coming and going from rural areas and identify vehicles and occupants. Mr Matthews explained that...

Awards help farmers benchmark

 [25 September/ Rural News Group] Wairarapa farmers Mike and Liz McCreary said benchmarking against other farmers was a big plus in entering the Ballance Farm Environment Awards. The McCreary farmers won the Massey University Innovation Award, WaterForce Integrated Management, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award and the Farm Stewardship Award sponsored by the QEII...

Long, dry wait over as taps turned on

[21 September/ New Zealand Herald] The first water of the North Otago Irrigation Company’s $57million pipeline expansion was turned on at a Weston farm on 20 September. 30 percent of farmers who bought shares in NOIC were told the water was ready, and they could begin to test the irrigation infrastructure installed on their farms...

New Zealand too small to have rural/urban divide

[21 September/ New Zealand Herald] Waikato Federated Farmers President Andrew McGiven said urban New Zealanders are not entirely informed on the positives of farming. Federation National Board Member Chris Lewis said last Monday’s farming rally was a deliberate attempt to tell the positive stories of farmers. These positive stories include what they put back into...